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The Body Shop calls out J.K. Rowling for transphobia


TextAlex Peters

TERFs are boycotting the store, while the rest of us stock up on body butter in solidarity

The Body Shop has joined us in the fight against transphobia – the natural beauty company has spoken out in solidarity with the transgender community, calling out J.K. Rowling for her anti-trans views on Twitter. 

The children’s author has aired her transphobic views previously online, but last month saw Rowling attack trans women with a lengthy essay that conflated her fear of trans people with being a survivor of domestic abuse. A bizarre tweet from Rowling also criticised the phrase “people who menstruate”. Harry Potter stars like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint condemned Rowling’s views.

Now, welcome our new comrade, The Body Shop. The store’s official account tweeted to Rowling, with an image of a red tote bag from its ‘End Period Shame’ campaign alongside a caption reading, “Hey @JK_Rowling here's something we made earlier, we thought you might like one! We've also popped in a vegan bath bomb and a copy of Trans Rights by @paisleycurrah for you to read in the bath!”

The tweet’s replies were filled with transphobic outrage and abuse, accusing the brand of bullying, and misogyny, and #boycotttheBodyShop is now trending. Many said The Body Shop’s tweet was ‘belittling’ a domestic violence survivor and vowed to boycott the company. 

“A woman writes about surviving domestic violence and you respond with mockery and sarcasm?” wrote one Twitter user while another tweeted: “Are you hoping Women forget how you belittled the subject of domestic violence? How you tried to reduce Women to the word menstruator. Erase the word Woman; watch Women disappear from your stores. #boycotttheBodyShop”

“Only women have periods, and we also have rights. Body Shop can do one. You’ve made your money off the back of women and now you won’t stand up for us #misogynists” wrote a third.

“I won’t be supporting @TheBodyShopUK anymore thanks to their condescending trolling of a domestic violence victim and their desperate attempts to side with a group of people who want to erase the female sex as a legally protected group. #boycotttheBodyShop,” said another.

In response to this, however, many others have taken over the #boycotttheBodyShop hashtag to tweet their support of the brand and the trans community. One twitter user posted an image of their online order from the brand writing “I’ve just ordered some from them as a thank you! Trans women are women and deserve nice things,” while another tweeted “Remember to buy from The Body Shop to piss off a terf today.”

“People support the rights of a white woman punching down at an oppressed minority and think they're being feminist. This is how pervasive transphobia is,” wrote another.

Aside from The Body Shop, Rowling’s transphobic rhetoric has caused deep upset for fans in the Harry Potter community. Illustrator Molly Knox Ostertag has been helping Harry Potter fans with HP tattoos cover them up now they no longer feel comfortable being associated with JK.

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